Foodie Fun In Sugar Land

Sugar Land food and wine extravaganza highlights White House chef, Italian flair and foodie fun

Sugar Land food & wine fest features White House chef & Italian flair

Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair Bistro Brunch
Sunday's Bistro Brunch wraps up the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair. Photo by Shannon O'Hara
Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair Grand Tasting
Taken last year, this photo shows some of the chefs who will participate in Friday's Grand Tasting. Photo by Shannon O'Hara
Efisio Farris Arcodoro
Arcodoro owner Efisio Farris headlines Wednesday night's La Dolce Vita VIP dinner.  Courtesy photo
John Moeller White House chef
Former White House chef John Moeller will serve at Friday night's Grand Tasting. Courtesy photo
Mark DeNittis Rocky Mountain Meat Institute
Mark DeNittis of the Rocky Mountain Meat Institute will lead a butchery demonstration during Saturday's Sip and Stroll. Courtesy photo
Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair Bistro Brunch
Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair Grand Tasting
Efisio Farris Arcodoro
John Moeller White House chef
Mark DeNittis Rocky Mountain Meat Institute

Foodies from across the Houston-area are looking forward to a sweet week thanks to the 12th Annual Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair. From Wednesday through Sunday, the populous suburb will play host to a series of events that feature a variety of chefs and bartenders from Houston and beyond.

A VIP dinner kicks off the festival Wednesday night. Dubbed "La Dolce Vita," chefs from some of Houston's top Italian restaurants are joining forces for a five-course meal with wine pairings from Italian importer Banfi. Familiar faces include Jose Hernandez of Radio Milano and Efisio Farris of Arcodoro. Tickets are $150.

On Thursday, some of the city's up-and-coming bartenders from places like Beaver's and Johnny's Gold Brick will compete in the On The Rocks challenge. The winner earns a $1,500 grand prize and the bragging rights that come from having his or her creation designated as the official cocktail of the festival that will be served throughout the weekend's events. Tickets are $40.

The weekend sees the festival shift into high gear. Duck out of work early on Friday to attend either the World Whiskey Tour ($75), which features products from the United States, Canada, Ireland, Scotland and Japan, or the Hidden Gems Wine Seminar ($50), where wine professional Jessica Sanders will explore the latest trends in wine. 

Friday night's Grand Tasting features a mix of up-and-coming chefs from Houston, Sugar Land favorites and a couple of intriguing out-of-towners. John Moeller, one of the visitors, worked at the White House from 1992 until 2005 and wrote an award-winning book called Dining at the White House. Tickets are $150.

Saturday's Sip and Stroll takes place on the grounds of the historic Imperial Sugar factory. The event features additional restaurant tastings as well as a beer garden with 100 beers from 25 breweries. Chef Mark DeNittis of the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat will conduct a live butchery demonstration. Tickets are $65.

Finally, the weekend wraps up with the Bistro Brunch on Sunday. Relax with mimosas and Bloody Marys while listening to live jazz performed by local musician Kelly Dean, the editor-in-chief of JazzHouston.com. Tickets are $50.

Feel like spending all weekend at the festival? Buy a VIP pass that grants access to the Grand Tasting, Sip and Stroll and Bistro Brunch. The price of $225 represents a $40 savings over buying them separately.